Don’t shake hands, don’t high-five, and definitely don’t hug.
We’ve been bombarded with these messages during the pandemic as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19, meaning we may not have hugged our friends and family in months.
This might be really hard for a lot of us, particularly if we live alone. This is because positive physical touch can make us feel good. It boosts levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that promote mental well-being, is involved in bonding, and can help reduce stress.
So how can we cope with a lack of touch?
Authors: Michaela Pascoe, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Mental Health, Victoria University